Below is a preliminary ranking of Swedish prospects eligible for the 2005 Entry Draft. The ranking has been compiled by Hockey’s Future and Elite Prospects writers Johan Nilsson and Anders Östberg.
a bit on the short side, but Nicklas Bergfors is at this point the undisputed top ranked
Swedish player for the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He combines his strong skating, fine stick handling and impressive hockey sense.
He is the youngest player to ever receive a senior contract with Södertälje in the SEL.
Sundström, the son of former NHLer Alexander Sundström, has had major problems with injuries and missed many games the last two seasons. The skilled
forward needs to be healthy and see quality ice time to keep his high
Wandell has arguably the best technical skills of all draft eligible Swedish players.
He’s a flashy and smart player with good playmaking ability. Wandell missed U18 Junior World Cup in August due to an injury.
A two-way forward with fine technical
skills, Ritola is physically strong and contributes at both ends of the ice.
He was a regular with Frölunda’s U20 team already last season and should see more
ice time this season.
|5.||Niklas Hjalmarsson||D||1987-06-06||HV 71|
Hjalmarsson was voted top defenseman in U18 Junior World Cup in August and is emerging as the top Swedish defenseman for the draft. While many of Sweden’s defensemen born 1987 are rather small, Hjalmarsson has decent size being 6’1″, 194 lbs.
Pettersson is only 5’9″, but still among the most explosive and energetic players in the Swedish junior league. He is also a good leader and is an excellent skater and stick handler. Pettersson has a fine scoring touch, but is just as good at setting up plays.
Zackrisson is a smart player with soft hands and a good skating technique. He should be a regular in the Swedish U20 league this season with Frölunda and continue to be a valuable member on Team Sweden.
A fine skater who is very strong on the
puck, Sundh is like top prospect Johannes Salmonsson in that aspect. Sundh looked good in the 2nd-tier league last season with Almtuna and if he improves even more the next few months he
has an outside chance to make the Swedish WJC team.
Similar to Fredrik Pettersson who is ranked No.
6, Nilsson is 5’9″, also an explosive player with great wheels and technical skills. He has a nose for the net but lacks the same physical game as Pettersson.
is the top Swedish goalie eligible for the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He was excellent in the Swedish U18 league with Luleå last season and played convincingly in U18 Junior World Cup. However, the competition for the starting job on Luleå’s U20 team is tough seeing as David Rautio, one of the best goalies in the league, is currently Luleå’s No. 1 choice.
The younger brother of Los Angeles prospect Jens
Karlsson, Sebastian is a strong two-way center and is a very good passer. He is reliable defensively and
is tougher than Fred Wikner who was the big agitator and tough guy among the Swedish 86’s. Dahlberg’s offensive talent might be limited, but he does not hesitate to use his body. On the downside he loses his cool from time to time and takes
From-Björk is a defense-first type of defenseman. He has good size, strength and reach and is quite reliable in his own end.
He has limited offensive skills.
Strålman had a sensational season with Skövde playing against men in the 3rd-tier league last season.
Since he got so little exposure, he decided to opt out of the 2004 draft. Strålman shoots right and has very good hockey sense.
A pretty all-round two-way forward with good technical skills. Molinder should be ready for MODO’s U20 team and will likely continue to be a regular with the Swedish U18 team.
Ribbenstrand is a gifted defenseman although a bit on the small side. He has pretty good overall skills and can contribute offensively. His release is
mediocre and he has performed well with the Swedish U18 team.
One of the most fit juniors in
Sweden, Viklund is extremely well trained and has been taking huge strides with MODO’s senior team during preseason. A two-way defenseman who opted out of the draft this summer.
A two-way center that looked really good in the Swedish U18 league last
year, Mylläri is a good playmaker and can be used in most situations. He has an outside shot at getting a few shifts with Västerås in the 2nd-tier league.
Gunnarsson had a very good season with Örebro in the 2nd-tier league last season, but with the team being relegated he has now moved to Linköping. Odds are Gunnarsson will have a hard time seeing ice time in the SEL and will mostly play in the junior league. Defensively
he’s very reliable.
A creative center that opted out of this year’s draft. Persson has left Frölunda’s junior team to play for Hammarby in the 2nd-tier league. He was a bit inconsistent the past season, but when on top of his game Persson is an excellent player with an impressive passing game.
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